Three Alachua County cities to hold elections

Walt Boyer

The cities of Newberry, Alachua and Archer will hold city commission elections on April 12 with seven seats up for election but only three with multiple candidates running. 

In Newberry, three candidates are running for the group 3 seat currently held by Commissioner Monty Farnsworth. The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. at the municipal building. 

Walt Boyer moved to Newberry 10 years ago from Jacksonville and works as the owner of Space Walk in Gainesville. 

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He’s served on several city boards and, in a phone interview, Boyer said he’s ready to step into a commission seat. He said setting the foundation for a Newberry police department and protecting citizen property rights will be primary concerns for him. 

Mark Allen is also running for the seat. He’s owned a local business for the past 17 years and in a campaign video said he wants to “preserve the values of Newberry.”

Newberry Commissioner Monty Farnsworth

“Just like you, I want to ensure our city remains a stable and peaceful place for families to thrive and enjoy all the things newberry has to offer,” Allen said in the video. 

Allen and Boyer will face incumbent Farnsworth as the third candidate. Farnsworth won the seat in 2014 and was reelected in 2018 when he ran against David Wallace. 

Boyer also ran for the Newberry commission in 2018. 

Commissioner Rick Coleman and Commissioner Mark Clark will both retain their seats after no one campaigned against them. 

In Alachua, Gregory E. Pelham Sr. will face off against Edward Potts for Seat 2. The winner will replace Commissioner Robert Wilford, who has served since 2010 and held the vice mayor seat from 2012 to 2021. 

So far, Potts has spent more than $7,300 on the campaign, outperforming Pelham by around $6,000. Pelham lost a 2021 election for the Alachua commission and also ran in 2019. 

Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper

Polls in Alachua will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. at the Legacy Park Multipurpose Center, the Cleather Hathcock Sr. Community Center and the Clubhouse at Turkey Creek. 

Only Mayor Gib Coerper qualified for Seat 1, so he will continue for another three year term. 

In Archer, incumbent Commissioner Kathy Penny will campaign against Shaun Willis for Seat 5. Just last year, Penny won the election against Willis and Laurie Costello to claim the seat. 

Polls will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Archer Community Center. 


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